The Arts and Business Council of New York’s annual Multicultural Arts Management Internship program kicked off Monday, June 2 with a welcome breakfast at the offices of Con Edison, the lead sponsor of the program. The internship program, which was initiated in 1985, aims to build the next generation of diverse arts leaders by exposing interns from diverse backgrounds to both the arts and business worlds of New York City.
Each student in the program is paired with a different arts organization where they will work daily for 10 weeks on projects involving marketing, public relations, fundraising and community outreach. This year’s slate of host organizations includes the Bronx Museum of Art, Free Arts NYC and the Louis Armstrong House Museum, among many other notable arts nonprofits throughout the city.
Another crucial component of the program involves matching a member of the business community to each intern as a mentor. The majority of this year’s mentors come from Con Edison, while the remaining work at Time Warner and The JUDD Foundation. The job of the mentors is to teach their interns valuable business skills as well as how to balance a career in business while remaining actively engaged with the arts.
The welcome brunch brought together all 11 interns, along with their business mentors and their hosts from the various arts organizations at which they were placed. Hilary Ayala, Director of Grassroots Programs at Con Edison, gave opening remarks to welcome the interns, describing her experience as a business mentor in this program and explaining why Con Edison supports this endeavor year after year. Ayala noted that Con Edison has a long tradition of social responsibility and community support and that the company views the arts as a crucial way to give back and engage with the world around them. “Not all of us who participate in the arts are on the stage,” she said, emphasizing Con Edison’s behind-the-scenes yet significant role in supporting the arts as well as hinting at the important responsibility businesses have to engage with the arts.
As the breakfast came to an end, the group of 11 interns stood together to take a photograph that would mark the beginning of their summer journey through the art and business worlds of New York City. Each intern donned a huge smile on his or her face, seemingly aware of the golden opportunity that lay before them this summer and eager to get started.
Learn more about ABC/NY’s Multicultural Arts Management Internship program at AmericansForTheArts.org/ABC-NY. Applications for the summer of 2015 will open online in the fall.
The Multicultural Arts Management Internship Program is sponsored by Con Edison. Additional support is provided by the Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.